The 2013 Sundance Film Festival has lined up its usual slate of big name stars to help drum up attention for the annual celebration of indie film. For many people, Sundance is as much about star-gazing as it is about movie watching (maybe even more).
This year there are so many stars headed to Park City, Utah (where the bulk of the screenings and events take place), we had to cheat in picking a top 10. The list below is actually a top 12 (including two pairs of actors appearing in the same film).
But when the list excludes Amanda Seyfried, Naomi Watts, Michael Cera, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, Dakota Fanning and Kristen Bell among others, can you blame us?
10 12 biggest stars heading to Sundance 2013:
Harry Potter himself headlines Sundance competition entry “Kill Your Darlings” as a young Allen Ginsberg in the story of the birth of the Beat movement. Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Dane DeHaan, Jack Huston and Elizabeth Olsen also star.
He won’t be returning for “The Office” finale, but Carell should be in Park City for “The Way, Way Back,” a coming of age movie co-written and co-directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who won Oscars for co-writing “The Descendants” and are also known as stars of TV’s “Ben & Kate” and “Community,” respectively. They landed an impressive cast for their directorial debut also including Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph and Allison Janney.
Sundance usually finds room for at least one actor-turned-director (Vera Farmiga, Mark Ruffalo and Josh Radnor have all premiered films in recent years), and this year’s is a biggie: Joseph Gordon-Levitt will unveil “Don Jon’s Addiction” about a playboy learning about love. Gordon-Levitt wrote, directed and stars in the movie opposite Johansson, Julianne Moore, Glenne Headly and Tony Danza (!).
The beloved “Parks and Recreation” star and Golden Globes co-hosting sensation has a supporting role in the comedic drama “A.C.O.D.” starring her “Parks” leading man Adam Scott and Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clark Duke. It’s one of the most likable casts in this year’s fest, so let’s hope the film follows suit.
The “That ’70s Show” star and former Mr. Demi Moore has one of the most anticipated star turns of the festival as Steve Jobs in the bio-pic “jOBS.” It’s the closing night premiere, on Jan. 25. Kutcher’s ex has a film at the fest too — “Very Good Girls” starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen — but it premieres three days earlier, so there may not be any awkward encounters around town.
This one’s a tie because they both star in “Mud” — which would be one of the biggest buzz movies of the fest thanks to its stars and rising indie film director Jeff Nichols (“Take Shelter”), if it hadn’t already premiered at Cannes and screened in Toronto. Word is good, but the attention will be on the films with the potential to surprise.
One of Hollywood’s most adventurous actresses takes a supporting role in the gothic thriller “Stoker” from Korean director Park Chan-Wook (“Oldboy”). Mia Wasikowska leads the cast that also includes Dermot Mulroney and Jacki Weaver (a surprise Oscar nominee for “Silver Linings Playbook” who arguably bumped Kidman from this year’s Best Supporting Actress category after Kidman was nominated by SAG and the Golden Globes for “The Paperboy”).
Franco has been a recent fixture at Sundance (he starred in “HOWL” in 2010 and unveiled his “Three’s Company: The Drama” art project in 2011), but nothing can compare with the triple does of sex-themed films he has this year. He’s co-starring in the porn star bio-pic “Lovelace” with Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard, co-directing and making a cameo in the hour-long sexually explicit experimental film “Interior. Leather Bar.” and executive producing the documentary “kink,” about a BDSM porn company. OK, then…
Rudd co-stars with Emile Hirsch in “Prince Avalanche” a two-hander from writer-director David Gordon Green, who returns to the indie world after a string of studio comedies (“Pineapple Express,” “Your Highness” and “The Sitter”).
Mr. “Transformers” has been making some weird choices lately, but we don’t know how odd “The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman” will be until it premieres on Monday, Jan. 21. The romance also stars Evan Rachel Wood.